Thursday, November 13, 2008


I taught "Stress Management" all day long to my Cardiac Rehab patients.
All day.
Long long day.
It stressed me. (hee hee)

There's a part of my class where I talk about how stressful it is when you are unable to give attention to the things that are most important to you.
When I get to that part of the Stress Management class, I always tell this story:

In the Spring of 2006, Bro. Jim Edwards was preaching at our church and announced his text for the Sunday morning service.
It was Haggai 1:1-9.

Now, to my recollection, it was the first time I've ever heard a sermon from Haggai.
(I had to discreetly turn to my index: Where in the world is Haggai?)

Anyway,...the story is centered around God chastising the Jews for all enjoying their individual fine houses while the His temple lay in ruins.
They had their priorities all wrong and they were paying for it!

Bro. Jim, then had us all get out a piece of paper:
"Write out the top three priorities in your life" he said.
He told us to assume that God would always be at the top of our list, but to pick three others. (Bless him. He knew we would all be in an emotional quandary,...we would all secretly think,...."God is supposed to be at the top,..but is He? Should I lie? Is that a sin? What will others think if I tell the truth?..)

I listed my top priorities.
1. Ralph, Casey, Abby
2. Mom and daddy (who needed home care)
3. Jae's memorial scholarship

Then Bro. Jim had us make a second list:
"Now list the things which keep you from giving time to your priorities".

Mine was simple.
It was my job. My job kept me busy every day,..all day.

Bro. Jim told us
"Deal with the second list!"
"Get your priorities right!"

I was incredibly convicted.
My job was keeping me from the most important things of my life. How in the world did I let that happen?
I went in that very week and requested a transfer.
At that moment,..I think I would have gone somewhere and flipped burgers to attend my priorities.

I still do that whole exercise every once in awhile. I list my priorities and then evaluate anything which may keep me from giving them my attention.

Hopefully, I will not find myself in that kind of situation again, 'cause I think I would be a terrible burger-flipper.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Anybody married to a Mississippi man is most certainly a red neck!